Cigar Editorial-Brandon: IPCPR and the Average Consumer

Every year the cigar industry holds a convention, not unlike any other convention that say the furniture industry or construction industry would have. This convention is put on by the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers association (IPCPR). IPCPR is where all the manufacturers come and display their product, market their product, and basically schmooze the retailers who will be selling their product. This is also a large networking event for retailers and manufacturers alike, both of cigars and cigar related products; such as cutters, lighters, humidors, and all the odd gadgetry you see these days. Sounds like a really awesome place huh? Well I regret to inform you that currently we the consumer are not allowed or even welcomed at the show. So what do these elaborate booths and smoke filled convention halls, fancy dinners, and late night at the bar with some of the industry leaders have to do with me the consumer?

Most cigar consumers are somewhat distanced from the “industry” itself. We wonder our local shops looking for our favorites or what’s new, or we spend countless hours at work passing the time shopping the online retailers. This is where we encounter IPCPR. Many shops spend countless hours on the show floor at IPCPR doing shopping of their own. There are literally thousands of cigars for them to choose from and make the best choices for the consumers they serve. Many of these shops go to the show with a budget, more times than not a small one, and need to get the biggest bang for their buck.

The retailers are acting not only as representatives of their stores but also of we the consumer. They are buying and ordering cigars in hopes that you will like them and buy them. Never hesitate to mention to your tobacconist what cigars you like or what your profile is. Always let them know if there is something you are looking for that you don’t happen to see on the shelves or if there is something you are anticipating the release of. Retailers use this feedback and keep this in mind when ordering. Be patient with your tobacconist post IPCPR, keep in mind that just because they ordered 20 boxes of the latest greatest cigar it doesn’t mean it will be immediately shipped, 500 other shops ordered it too!

IPCPR was less than a month ago, so now we are in the waiting phase for all the stuff to hit the stores. Our tobacconist’s palates are shot from smoking 10 cigars a day trying to pick the best ones and we the consumers are like kids waiting on Christmas morning to arrive. While we may not be able to interact at the IPCPR show directly as consumers, do not ever write off the importance of this event every year. All the build up, the press releases, and hard work of all those behind the scenes pays off big, and in the end, we the consumer get they payday!

-Brandon K.

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